Time is right to upgrade Jackson parks

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cities and towns, like so many other societal entities, have to make priorities.

Streets and sewers, water and electric, stormwater and flood control, police and fire protection all make up the backbone of any city, and those areas must be strong.

When it comes to parks, you'll find more disagreement along the political spectrum. But a city's parks say a lot about the town. They promote health and active living, provide meeting places and turn an entity into a town, much like furnishings can turn a house into a home.

Last week, the Jackson Board of Aldermen approved a trail-extension contract that will connect the Jackson City Park with the Jackson Civic Center. The board also approved the installation of new playground equipment and will, thanks to a partnership with the school district, make upgrades to a softball field where the high school girls play.

It's important that a city tends to its parks, and looks out for ways to maintain and improve them.

Of all the city's park infrastructure, nothing is more used by Jackson residents than the trails. It's not just for the runners and walkers among Jackson's adults; it's also for the children who want to get out and ride their bikes. U.S. 61, where the civic center is effectively located, is not a safe place for children to ride bikes.

Jackson boasts a beautiful park system, but the parks had somewhat stagnated for a while. The new civic center, constructed with private funds, was a major boost. Now, we're seeing more park expansions and improvements, which should indeed occur as the city population continues to grow.

We can't wait to see how these new improvements enhance Jackson's city park system.

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